Coffee Table Revamp

5 Materials
4 Hours

We've had this coffee table for a long time. As you can see it was looking a bit beat up and dated. I decided to give it a makeover. Here is how I did it.

Step 1: Stripping the paint…

The first thing you need to do when refinishing a piece of furniture is strip off as much of the old paint/stain as possible using a paint stripper. The less paint on a piece, the easier it is to sand. I used Klean Strip because I had some in the garage from previous projects, but readers have suggested this  Citristrip Product which is suppose to be less harsh smelling and a little safer to use. Anyway, to use any paint stripper you need to apply a thick coat of it with a paint brush, wait a few minutes, then scrape it off.  Sometimes you need to repeat this step several times. Please discard the paint into a tin can and please be sure you wear safety googles and gloves.

I was working outside by my pool and it was extremely hot and humid and the stripper was drying way too quickly. Therefore, I ended up stripping as much stain off as I could and then moving on to Step 2. Normally I would try this step a few times but figured I could move on and then go back to using the stripper if sanding wasn’t going well.

Once you are done stripping the paint off, you need to apply some Paint Stripper After Wash. I used Klean-Strip After Wash. This product essentially removes any paint residue left from the stripping process. To use, follow the instructions on the back of the can and again make sure you wear gloves and safety googles. Basically the can will tell you to pour some onto a rag and wipe down the piece of furniture making sure to get rid of any residue.

Step 2: Sanding…

Since the paint stripper was drying to quickly I went ahead and started sanding. I could tell that it wouldn’t be to hard and wouldn’t take to long using my hand sander. (Again, please make sure you wear a mask and safety googles if you attempt a project like this. You don’t want dust going up your nose or in your eyes!!! Gross!) I only used one sand paper grit, 180, because that was all we had in the garage, but it worked like a charm. Look how cool it came out! I love the pattern on the top. This step only took about 20-30 minutes and what a difference!

Step 3: To Stain or Not to Stain…

Once I was done sanding I had to decide if I wanted to stain this piece or not. I was really digging the color of the wood as is! Ultimately, I decided to skip right to step 4 and just polyurethane the already pretty wood. In the past I have chosen to stain the wood, like when I refinished this dining table. I didn’t think this piece needed any stain.

Step 4: Apply Polyurethane and Paint the Legs…

After doing many refinishing projects, I’ve discovered my favorite polyuerthane is a Water Based one by Minwax. Since it is water based it dries much quicker than oil based and it also doesn’t yellow. The back of the can said to apply at least 2 coats of poly, but I thought it needed at least 3. This is a coffee table after all, and I wanted to protect it from getting water damage, scratches, etc.

Originally I planned to paint the rest of the table white (including the lower shelf). However, once I started painting I realized I wanted to do the same treatment to the bottom shelf of the table as I did to the top, so I started with Step 1 again. I could tell that the pattern on the bottom shelf would compliment the top.

Once that was done I put 3 coats of poly on both the top and bottom shelf of the table. I also painted the legs white and put 2 coats of poly on those too. (I know the edges of the table are not perfect, but I sort of like it that way.)

And thats it!

Once the piece was all done and dried, my husband and I brought it inside. Here is how it looks it my living room. 

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